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Aldo’s First Sustainable Sneaker Collection Features Foams Made from Algae

Aldo’s first sustainably-produced shoe is more than just a response to a market that craves environmentally-friendly innovation—it’s another step in the brand’s journey to find authentic outlets to express its vision of a responsible future for the footwear industry.

The RPPL Collection (pronounced “ripple”), available on Aldo’s website as of Monday, has been designed from the ground up to take as little from the environment as possible, an important goal for a brand with a climate-neutral designation. To create the collection, Aldo partnered with sustainable footwear foam producer, Bloom, a subsidiary brand of the sustainable technology firm, Algix. Sneakers in the RPPL collection will come with Bloom Foam, a component produced with lake algae instead of pollutive petroleum products, as is typically the case in footwear soles and midsoles.

The algae used for the collection, according to Aldo, is grown without needing additional labor, irrigation, pesticides, fertilizers or other resources, and requires less land transportation to get it into factories.

“Algix and Bloom are super excited to be collaborating with Aldo, such an innovating and exciting brand that is using our BLOOM Foam sustainable material to make a major positive impact on our environment,” Mike Van Drunen, co-founder of Bloom, said in a joint statement with Aldo. “With every RPPL shoe, together we will transform air and water pollution into sustainable footwear the consumer will be proud to wear! Together we have the power to restore our environment leaving tomorrow better than today.”

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The effect RPPL footwear will have on the environment is nothing to scoff at either, according to the brand. Compared to traditional footwear production, the RPPL collection will keep approximately 46 tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, Aldo said. Additionally, the use of sustainable foam will allow up to 2.5 million liters of filtered water to return to the environment instead of being treated as a waste product.

According to Aldo, each new shoe produced represents returning 100 liters of clean water to the environment.

“The launch of the RPPL is a pivotal step towards our on-going journey and commitment towards a more sustainable future,” Aldo’s senior vice president, Daianara Grullon Amalfitano, explained. “We’re thrilled to have begun this partnership with the team at Bloom, a move that has allowed us to explore new materials and methods of production that will have meaningful benefits on our customers, allowing them to choose good, while helping our planet.”

The RPPL collection’s uppers, which come in black, faded black, grey and red for men and in black, pink and red for women, will also be composed of a recycled plastic yarn that is made of 100 percent recycled plastic recovered from between three to six plastic bottles—depending on the size of the shoe.

Aldo has made strides to bring sustainability to its retail operations, as well, announcing that it would be eliminating single-use plastic bags from its stores earlier in August.